‘Coffee With a Cop’ builds a bridge between students, law enforcement


School Resource Officer Kevin Stiles has extended the City of Carrollton’s ‘Coffee With a Cop’ program to the school.

Students can visit Stiles to ask questions about law enforcement or anything in general while also having the option of drinking the provided coffee or cocoa.

“My thought was instead of having your first experience with a police officer be when they pull you over for speeding or running a stop sign, kids can come into a laid back atmosphere and ask questions they may have,” Stiles said. “It’s not a club. We don’t have a membership. Nobody has to be here. It’s just open for the public.”

The program began in the last week of February and has had 25 attendees since its start. Stiles’ room- which is located by the 1500 hallway- is open to the public every Wednesday during block lunch.

“I’ve been a school resource officer for eight years now and randomly you have kids come up to you and ask questions from anything under the sun,” Stiles said. “Police-related, not police-related, whatever. Instead of having them come up during lunch when they happen to see me and think of a question, they now have a spot and they know they can come here.”

Principal Scot Finch said Stiles came up with the idea to give students a better idea as to what police officers do on a daily basis.

“It also is intended to break down possible barriers between students and law enforcement, and answer questions students might have about police work and the laws associated with them.” Finch said.

According to Stiles, the purpose of the program is to create dialogue and even enjoy hot cocoa and coffee which are available for students who stop by for a visit.

“The conversation could be anything from my time in the military and how I got into the military to ‘I want to get into law enforcement’ or stuff that’s going on in the news,” Stiles said. “People don’t understand what police do and they only see what the media or what the news shows them and they make assumptions from whatever they’ve seen or are told to believe.”

The program, while still small, has so far been successful in helping students see another side of law enforcement.

“It can help students appreciate what officers do for us and contribute to seeing law enforcement in a more realistic light,” Finch said. “As real human beings with families who serve their community and who sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe.”